Tonight, the Olde English Pub & Pantry at 25 Quackenbush Square will host its second Front Parlor Storytelling Series with the theme "The Great Outdoors." Along with a fantastic beer selection, patrons are treated to an evening of five minute stories told by an incredibly diverse group of folks, from old to young; conservative to outrageous. Front Parlor's first night in Albany appropriately selected its theme to be "Firsts" and was packed with listeners at every table, chair, bar stool, and available step. Some stories had the entire room laughing and others, well... had everyone secretly wishing the five minute signal would happen after the first minute. Those too shy to share a story to a room full of strangers can write a couple sentences for the "flash notification prompt" to be read by the series hostess and MC, Abby. I have been looking forward to this second installation in the Front Parlor series at the Olde English since last month, although I chickened out of telling a "Great Outdoors" story written for me by a friend. The atmosphere is welcoming, encouraging; and the Pub lends to a feeling of hanging out in a friend's living room. If you miss tonight's Storytelling, you can catch evenings of live music and other events happening at the Olde English almost weekly.
Lark Street Business Improvement District: December 2011 Archives
Waking up to snow on the ground and flurries in the air has gotten many gearing up for the Holidays along with thoughts of a long stretch of winter accompanied by snow shoveling, functional footwear, and snowboarding or skiing for those of us looking for outdoor exercise or a diversion from the less than ideal temperatures.
For the 5th consecutive year, Winter WonderLARK will welcome the winter season with activities and events designed to get everyone in the Holiday Spirit and also give visitors an opportunity to do their Holiday Shopping while also supporting small local businesses. Shoppers can find gifts and other items such as jewelry and ornaments at Elissa Halloran Designs, video games and game systems for the kids at Pastime Legends, home decor and candles at Romeo's, skateboards, skate gear, and clothing at Seasons Skate Shop, or some adult friendly libations at Capital Wine & Spirits. In addition to the merchants offerings, there will be art & craft vendors along Lark Street at the Outdoor Winter Market from noon to 5.
The highlight of Winter WonderLARK is undoubtedly the popular and ever-growing Santa Speedo Sprint, now in its sixth year. More than 200 participants gear up in speedos, bikinis, pajamas, elf costumes, and other creative outfits (one young lady came decked out as the "major award" lamp from A Christmas Story in 2010). The sprint, which typically goes from Madison Ave to State St and back is a fundraiser sponsored by ASAP to benefit the Albany Damien Center. Registration is noon at Lionheart and Oh Bar and the race starts at 2pm.
An ice sculpting competition sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey will be held on Lark near Madison Avenue starting at 11:30am and ending just prior to the Sprint at 2. Participants will be designing their ice sculpture around the logos of the Lark Street BID, the Santa Speedo Sprint, and Jameson.
Activities planned for a day of fun and festivities for the whole family on Lark Street include:
Entering its 6th year, 1st Friday began with just a few gallery spaces on and around Lark Street and has grown into a city-wide event with over thirty exhibiting venues. A free trolley runs for the duration of the evening bringing visitors throughout Center Square and downtown. A few highlights for this 1st Friday December 2nd include a whimsical exhibit at the Albany Center Gallery featuring Ed Atkeson's Firlefanz Puppets, and a continuation of the "30 Years 90 Notebooks" exhibition of the work of Graphic Designer Michael Beirut at the Esther Massry Gallery at the College of Saint Rose.
The Lark Street BID will be hosting the work of a very talented artist, Sarah Roberts, who presents "The Pareidolia Retrospective: A past to present phenomenon." Twenty seven pieces grace the walls of the building at 245 Lark Street and will be on display through the month of December with a public reception this Friday from 5-9pm. The recently opened Subway on the corner of Lark and Washington will be utilizing the expanse of its interior by providing space for musicians, singers, poets, and other performers to participate in a local Open Mic night every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month as well as 1st Fridays. If you are a night owl, don't fret! The fun continues with the 'after hours' happenings starting at 9pm including a show at Valentine's on New Scotland Ave, with one of my favorite local bands and LarkFEST alumni the Landlines. As always, there is plenty to entertain.